Nat Geo’s “Overheard” Podcast Features Prominent Hispanic Scientists and Explorers

by Carla Wills, Manager of Audio at Nat Geo

Christina Hernandez during the Mars Perseverance rover testing phase, in an area that includes three instruments she worked on: MEDA, RIMFAX, and PIXL. Photograph by: NASA/JPL-Caltech

As we commemorate Hispanic Latinx Heritage Month, Overheard at National Geographic celebrates NASA engineer Christina Hernandez. Christina, a payload systems engineer for the Mars rover Perseverance, was featured in the Overheard episode, “Mars Gets Ready for Its Close-Up.” She will be honored on Oct. 8 along with two other Latina engineers during PBS’s 34th Hispanic Heritage Awards.

Christina is just one of several Latinx scientists, explorers, and community leaders featured this year in Overheard.

“With Hispanic/Latinx people representing nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population, featuring these voices in Overheard isn’t just important for diversity and inclusion efforts,” says Davar Ardalan, National Geographic’s executive producer of audio. “Highlighting Latinx scientists and explorers is absolutely necessary if we are to tell full and accurate stories about who is making an impact in the world.”

In addition to Christina Hernandez, other Hispanic/Latinx guests featured on Overheard this year include:

  • Adriana Ocampo, a NASA scientist who currently serves as program executive of the Lucy mission (Lucy in the Sky with Asteroids);
  • Eileen Garcia, regional manager for TreePeople in LA, which works to plant trees in urban areas that don’t have them (Cooling Cities By Throwing Shade);
  • Andrés Reséndez, history professor at the University of California, Davis, whose research focuses on early European exploration and colonization of the Americas, and Rafael Pérez y Pérez, who specializes in artificial intelligence and computational creativity at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in México City (The Aztecs: From Empire to A.I.);
  •  Jorge Cáñez and Areli Carreón bike activists working to reduce emissions and create a more bike-friendly Mexico City (The Guerrilla Cyclists of Mexico City);
  •  National Geographic Explorer-at-Large Rodrigo Medellin, known as the Bat Man of Mexico, who works to protect and conserve bat species (Bat Man of Mexico);
  •  National Geographic Explorer Tamara Merino, who shines a light on the lives of modern-day cave dwellers. (Modern Lives, Ancient Caves).

We hope you will take a listen! With over 14-million downloads, Overheard at National Geographic is an award-winning, podcast powerhouse in the science and society and culture categories. National Geographic’s global content engages domestic and international audiences including listenership across Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and South Africa. With the release of season 8 in the fall of 2021, Overheard at National Geographic has published over 70 episodes and counting and is regularly featured on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and leading podcast platforms, shaping the storytelling future of the podcast industry.